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Sorry Harry but you Neglect the Hi GET on Everything

Posted by Mark T2 on Monday, 3 April 2017, at 7:47 a.m.
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In response to 140795: Taxes in Hawaii mo bettah!!, posted by Harry Pritikin on Sunday, 2 April 2017, at 8:39 p.m.

Not to rain on your parade Harry but you are neglecting the biggest and most regressive tax retirees will have to deal with on the Big Island. The General Excise Tax or GET gets tacked on to everything you buy or sell on the big island. Everything gets taxed roughly 4% and I mean everything food, gas, rent, everything. Also, given the high cost to get everthing here you can add another 10-20% in price to everything you are going to need on the island. Also, no more using Amazon to dodge the excise tax. Effective 4/1/17 Hi excise tax of 4% will be added for all Big Island buyers. Bottom line Hawaii is expensive compared to just about everywhere else. Also, while Hawaii does give property tax exemptions for seniors it is pretty low compared to many other places. Hawaii county also has the highest property tax rate in the Hawaiian Islands per 1000 of valuation. The only thing that saves us is that the property valuation are lower than on the other islands but they are creeping up particularly in West Hawaii.

In short, if you only have a goverment pension and social security and are moving from California or some other high tax destination you might at first glance the Big Island looks pretty good. However, if you have a private or corporate pension and investments form stock/bonds, real estate etc.. you are going to get killed. Add on the GET tax of 4%, the overall higher cost of goods, and the Hi state income tax and things don't look so rosy. Bottom line is you need to look at the total tax picture and cost of living. Hawaii is not a low cost place to live and if your goal is to move to Hawaii to live cheap you will be sorely disappointed.

Where I'm originally from, I would always hear new residents complaining about the high cost of a gallon of milk. I get a kick out of it since they never project how many gallons of milk they drink as retirees. Not many I would guess. They ignore the fact they have no state income tax, no sales or excise tax, and a generous senior property tax exemption on their personal residence.

   Δ Hawaii More Expensive?
    Harry Pritikin -- Monday, 3 April 2017, at 8:55 a.m.
   Δ hawaii more expensive
    Jim MC50 -- Monday, 3 April 2017, at 12:36 p.m.
   Δ Hawaii More Expensive--Yes
    Chris -- Monday, 3 April 2017, at 9:33 p.m.
   Δ Big Island affordable?
    Mark K -- Tuesday, 4 April 2017, at 2:12 a.m.
   Δ Double sometimes
    Hap H -- Friday, 7 April 2017, at 1:36 p.m.
   Δ Comparative Salaries
    Hap H -- Wednesday, 12 April 2017, at 2:18 a.m.
   Δ I compared my tax bills
    Eric W -- Friday, 7 April 2017, at 6:51 p.m.
   Δ Hawaii 's Property Taxes
    Timothy M -- Saturday, 8 April 2017, at 4:10 p.m.
   Δ Taxes.
    Steve O -- Tuesday, 11 April 2017, at 9:03 p.m.
   Δ Being frugal really helps too
    Timothy M -- Monday, 17 April 2017, at 11:52 a.m.
   Δ Excise Tax is not that bad
    Yvonne Joy -- Monday, 3 April 2017, at 1:18 p.m.
   Δ taxes on investments
    Charlie B -- Sunday, 9 April 2017, at 11:54 a.m.

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